Chamber Orchestra Self-Assessment 11/11/16

For this assignment you will listen to the attached audio file then write a MINIMUM of three sentences to self-assess the orchestra’s performance.  Please consider the playing of correct notes/rests, tone,

intonation, beat, rhythms, articulation, phrasing, dynamics, and more. When you listen, have your music out and take some notes.

  1. Please be specific.  (A comment such as “We were good” is not specific and will not count.)
  2. Include specific measure numbers when referencing sections of the music. If you have suggestions that might help the orchestra improve, please also include those.
  3. Please comment using your first name and last initial.  (Do not include your full last name!) Your comments will be moderated, so Dr. Laux will have to approve them before they will go live on the website.

This assignment will be counted as a homework grade.

Here is the audio:

24 thoughts on “Chamber Orchestra Self-Assessment 11/11/16”

  1. Overall, I think that we are doing very well on this piece. The main work that we have to do is with the intonation in the first violin section. As an entire orchestra, we were very out of tune in the third measure, and wherever that phrase repeats in the piece. We also seem to have awkward transitions in the middle of the piece. The ending was very strong and in tune.

  2. It would be better if we were more together from measures 5-6. We were very together from measures 53 to 63. Our dynamics were good especially from measures 78 to 81.

  3. Three things we did well:
    1. We stayed together
    2. We did the crescendos very well
    3. Measures 53 to 63 sounded flawless to me

    Three things we should work on:
    1. In the second measure some of us are holding the first note too long (violins).
    2. Measure 5 slurs are very quiet and aren’t confident enough.
    3. Measure 39 watch the open E (and in general try not to play as many open strings).

  4. Three things we did well:
    1. We stayed together
    2. We did the crescendos very well
    3. Measures 53 to 63 sounded flawless to me

    Three things we should work on:
    1. In the second measure some of us are holding the first note too long (violins).
    2. Measure 5 slurs are very quiet and aren’t confident enough.
    3. Measure 39 watch the open E (and in general try not to play as many open strings).

  5. In measure 42 the first violins need to watch their g sharps and D naturals.
    It also gets kind of foggy in measure 42 as well.
    In measure 31 the firsts need to be softer, it says pianissimo but they are playing double forte.
    The seconds need to be louder in playing, I can barely hear them over the firsts.

  6. The first thing I noticed was in measure 5, the orchestra didn’t seem together but quickly fixed that entering measure 6. Along with that, measure 30 also felt a little off for the violins. There were also a few intonation problems in measures 8 and 42 with the violins again. One big thing I also noticed was that some violins were playing open E string, which was very noticeable in measure 39 finishing the eighth notes, so I highly recommend for violins to play fourth finger. In measure 31, I feel like the orchestra’s decrescendo to piano was too late, so as an orchestra, we should remember to get quieter right on the beat entering the measure. Lastly, in measures 53 and 58, the bow lengths for the violins could have been shorter and more accented. Besides that, some really good things I noticed were that in measure 67, the crescendo was executed nicely and in measures 74 and 78 for the violins, the decrescendos were right on the second beats and the shorter, accented bows were very nice.

  7. One thing I noticed was that all the sections had a strong entry, but as we gradually got into the music, us second violins and violas kind of faded away and it was hard to hear us play. In my opinion, the two sections were playing too soft. So we need to up our volume a little bit and play a bit more confidently so that even our music is heard while playing the piece. I also feel like the crescendos and decrescendos are very subtle in our piece. If one is a trained musician, then he/she would probably notice our ‘effort’ at trying to do a good crescendo and decrescendo, but for the common people, most probably they won’t even notice the volume change. It has to be done more vividly so that the audience will take notice and be interested in our piece. Another thing I noticed was that the cellos needed to add a bit more accent into their notes. There still seems to be a bit of lagato in what they are playing. First violins are doing a great job in hitting all the slurred eighth notes!

  8. I thought that the crescendos during the repetitive eighth notes in measure seven were clear and powerful. However, first violin part measures 36-43 had a lot of missed notes and a lack of unity. The accidentals during the breaks between the repeated eighth notes from 43-45 were also off and seemed to cause some of the other notes to get messed up as well.

  9. One note that I thought was constantly missed was the fourth finger A on the D string especially the one at measure 24. The dynamics were really good especially at measures 7-12 but I think we could’ve played louder for the last two measures. The first violins seemed to have a few intonation problems between measures 27-43 and the noted blend together at some parts. I think with a little more practice it’ll be perfect.

  10. 1. The beginning notes were not in tune in the first violin section
    2. Tempo lags a little in the middle in the cellos and bass
    3. Counting was good. No one played during the rests and help their notes for the correct time

  11. I think that our orchestra overall did very well in this piece. The articulation was very good, notes were in tune, everyone sounded like they were counting, and intuition was pretty good. However, I believe everyone just needs to work on little details in all the factors that were good because everyone did very well but we can do better. Especially on dynamics throughout the piece.

  12. We were on the beat with together and sounded in sync. The bass and cello part should of have more sound in the measures 49-52. The violins and violas were in tune and didnt rush anything. On measures 18 and 74 the “da da da da” part. We all need our accents to sound more deep in sound and press on the bow harder.

  13. We were not very together at measure 5.
    The crescendos and decrescendos from measure 43 to measure 47 were well executed
    We did a good job of slowing down in the last 3 measures.

  14. Immediately at the beginning of the piece we weren’t together. A few people held on to the note too long which was very noticeable. Later on in the piece a majority of the violins were playing open E and open A instead of 4th finger which made it very obvious and unprofessional. Other issues like intonation near measures 8 and even the penultimate note was very out of tune for the violins. Our dynamics for the violins were for the most part very on point, yet some were held forte too long like in measure 31.
    A few suggestions would be exercised on getting very comfortable with using 4th finger. As Dr. Laux has mentioned before on having your fingers hovering over the fingerboard instead of flailing out to the side would be a humongous help to the intonation and the horrible open E string. Also if some people could draw eyeglasses and a walking cane so they know to slow down and look up at the end. That may help with a smooth effortless ending.

  15. Up to measure 6, we were not together, and we had a rough start. From measure 7-11, we had good dynamics as we crescendoed and decrescendoed from piano to forte. I could not really hear much of the violas; they should play louder. Around measure 36 to 41, the violins seemed like they were rushing and were not together as well. At measures 58 and 59, the notes that should be accented did not seem very accented at all. The second to last note seemed very out of tune. However, we all had a great ending at the same time.

  16. The first 2 measures should be more staccato. The orchestra should focus on the crescendo parts we have; we should be quieter on the piano parts and get louder when its forte. Also the orchestra should try and be more together at parts, it sounded a bit off at some parts, example, measure 5 we didn’t sound together but it got better at measure 6.

  17. As we started the piece, the first couple of measures were a bit unorganized and not together. As the piece progressed… measures 9 through 42 were a little messy. Intonation was a problem throughout these measure, as you could hear out of tune sharps and flats.
    The last three measures were together and the vibrato made the ending very strong.

  18. In the beginning of the first couple of measure (1-5)the orchestra was not fully together. Also many E notes were played throughout the piece with an open string where it should have been fourth finger on the A string. Starting from measure 30 with the slurs, violins did not really play together or execute the proper tone/sound. The violins did do a good job throughout the piece with the decrescendo and crescendos, but also need to make sure in measures 30-40 that the notes can be heard with proper tone rather than being muffled. Overall the orchestra did well, but have few improvements needed to make the piece sound solid.

  19. So overall we did really well and we sounded really good but in some places we messed up. For example in measure 2 the fourth finger A was too low and that can be very easily heard throughout so we really have to work on that. And then in measures 5-6 the notes were very muddy and just did not sound good. We were together I believe it’s just that we were probably not placing our fingers down as good as they should be placed and so it did not sound very good. After that the dynamics from piano to forte were through and through very nicely implemented. Everything was good until we hit measure 27-42 where I feel like people were not being very confident and didn’t play to their full potential and some were behind and some were ahead a little but notes were mostly accurate. I personally messed up at 41-42 where I played the wrong notes and fell behind a little. Anyways other than that in that section we were really good. And at measures 53-63 we sounded so professional and all of us were just so well planted and it sounded really good and the staccatos were played so well, and it just was very well done. After that everything was played really well and the dynamics just were great. And the ending was great and the break was a little rough and I feel like we can fix that and make it a lot more smoother. But I love our orch group and I totally feel like we can overcome any obstacle thrown at us. GO RAIDERS!

  20. The crescendos in measures like 7-11 were really good because you can tell the contrasts in dynamics from piano to forte clearly. We also had a nice sound as well in those measures and made a great distinction between loud and soft and transitioning between the two. However in measures 12-17 with the slurs, it started loud, but we slowly started to play quieter when it’s supposed to be forte. I think we should dig more into the strings, use more bow, and play closer to the bridge to bring out the sound. Also for first violins in measures 36-43, it sounded sorta messy and not together either because we do not know what notes to play or can’t keep up. Because of this we played quieter, so you could not tell we were playing incorrectly. The sound there could be stronger, and we need to play more together.

  21. This is all for cellos. At measures 6 and 28, the A’s on the G string were flat. The intonation of the f sharp and b natural at measure 41 was terrible. The intonation of the C sharp needs to be improved throughout the song. Sometimes we are flat.

  22. It seemed that in the beginning, when the orchestra started off, the orchestra sounded a bit off, some groups were ahead and rushing a little, but it seemed like the orchestra got back together and played together in the future measures. There were some intonation problems in all of the sections that could be heard, and there were places where the bad sounding open E string could be heard. It should be a 4th finger on the A string, and it would sound better. The orchestra should also pay attention to the beat and start counting in measures, and everyone should come in on the same beat. I did notice people would change the note, which means they heard their mistakes and changed it, but in the future it should be the case that they hit the right note the first time. There were places where legato was used when it should have been accented bows, but overall it did not seem bad at all.

  23. I think we did well overall, but three things we need to work on:
    – We were not all together at the beginning
    – Second violins were too soft, firsts were too loud
    – I couldn’t hear myself, but I know I was out of tune, and so were first violins.
    However we did well otherwise, especially during the middle of the piece.

  24. Things we did well:
    1) we sound pretty in tune
    2) measures 34-52 have improved since we first started playing
    3) the eighth notes are coming together and sounding a whole lot better

    Things we did not so well:
    1) we already sounded a little bit off from the beginning because we didn’t breath in together
    2)none of the sections were 100% together which made the whole song sound a little bit strange

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